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Innovating Pedagogy 2013: Digital Scholarship

blendedlearning's picture

The Innovating Pedagogy report is an annual overview of edutech from the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University. The 2013 report, the second in the series, selects 10 emerging innovations from the long list of existing technologies which the institute believes have the potential to make a significant impact on education. These are not technologies which are in development or even new, but rather technologies and ideas which are already being effected but have room to expand. The report ranks each innovation in terms of potential impact and timescale for implementation, describes its current application, and then explains the pedagogy behind the innovation and how it could be re-envisioned for maximum impact. One of the innovations described is the broad concept of digital scholarship.

Potential impact: medium/high
Timescale: short

According to the report, the must inclusive definition of digital scholarship is simply "changes in scholarly practice brought about by the use of digital and networked technologies." Most of the resources profiled on this blog, for example, fall under this umbrella term. The report highlights four major areas of digital scholarship:

  • open access publishing - large-scale dissemination of scholarly publications in a way which is free to users, removing the barriers to the access of knowledge and scholarship. However, open access publishing sometimes conflicts with the way the academy currently evaluates a body of work, and these conflicts are still being negotiated within disciplines.
  • scholarly use of social networks and digital media - networking through social networks and digital media allows academics to extend their network of peers and form a presence separate from their institutions. They can also use digital media, like podcasts and videos hosted online, to teach outside the confines of institutions and academic standards.
  • open resources and MOOCs - these resources change the way information and education is disseminated by restructuring traditional ideas about what a "class" really is and does.
  • network research and pedagogy - many of the innovations described in the report (crowd learning, learning analytics, etc) fall under this category. Rather than revising existing pedagogies, this type of digital scholarship deals with "internet-native" or "born-digital" approaches to learning.

What these types of scholarship likely require to thrive is institutional recognition and legitimacy. Open access publications, for example, will need to be viewed and rewarded similarly to peer-reviewed publications. So far, digital scholarship has met with resistance. However, the report predicts that this area is "likely to see the most significant changes over the next five years, as more individuals adopt digital scholarship practices."

For more information or to read the full report, visit Open University's blog.